How hiring a Virtual Assistant can benefit your business
Is running your business or department making you feel like you are drowning ?
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a simple solution and will allow you time to spend on managing the important aspects and tasks within your business while outsourcing many of the mundane time-consuming tasks. The effect on your productivity will be obvious.
As an entrepreneur, business owner or executive, your time is precious and you need to be able to delegate certain tasks to your Virtual Assistant allowing you to focus on what really matters.
Benefits of a Virtual Assistant include the following :
- No need for office space – a virtual assistant works from home
- Ensuring your staff are always busy – a virtual assistant can work flexi-time based on your requirements
- Saving you money – a Virtual Assistant is less expensive than a full time employee
- Freeing up your time – a Virtual Assistant can handle all the less important tasks & admin allowing you to concentrate on the more important issues
- Reducing your workload and need to manage employees
A Virtual Assistant is simply an online employee and will allow you to take the load off and help you scale up your business to the next level.
Tips to Get More from Your Virtual Assistant
Whether you have hired your first Virtual Assistant or have had one for years, there’s still more you can do to make sure she’s functioning at her fullest potential. In this blog, we will discuss what you can do to get more out of your VA!
Train Your VA
One thing you should never let go of is training your Virtual Assistant on your processes and systems. This is even if she’s been working with you for years. Sometimes assistants have their own way of doing things which may affect their productivity. It’s important to teach her tips and tricks to get her work done quicker.
Besides your personal training, you should also enroll her for some online courses. These courses can help your VA bring a new idea to your business.
Also, request your VA to document her process. This will not only help you to identify where the productivity inefficiencies are, but it will also help you to transition to a new VA quickly when your VA is sick or when you hire a new one.
Offer Coaching Sessions
Training and coaching are two different things. When coaching, you want to focus on building up your VA’s confidence in her abilities. This will help her to do her work more efficiently.
Coaching can take the form of one-on-one sessions, courses or even advising her to listen to a motivational CD for 30 minutes daily. Include this as part of her job and soon enough you will have an excellent assistant.
Give Constructive Feedback
If no feedback is given, your VA cannot grow. Similarly, if you give destructive criticism, it won’t help either one of you.
Focus on giving constructive criticism. This is when you point out both the good and the bad, and recommend ways for improvement.
Here are tips for giving feedback:
- Make sure you give written and verbal feedback.
- Use the feedback sandwich method (Positive-Improvement-Positive) often used at Toastmasters and the corporate world. This is when you begin by laying out the positives, then you criticise, and finally, end off with another positive.
- Criticise the work, not the individual.
- Be very specific. Instead of saying; “You need to pay attention to detail”, say; “You made grammar mistakes in your recent article. I pointed them out in red. Just make sure you focus on grammar and punctuation.”
- Only criticise things that can be changed. There is no point in telling someone they need to improve their voice for example.
Show Some Appreciation
Human beings love recognition. It pushes them to work harder to get even more recognition. Recognise any hard work or improvements made by your VA by giving something of value. Gift cards, days off and verbal appreciation work well for a VA.
Throw Her in the Deep End
They say when someone is thrown into the deep end it’s either they sink or swim. Hopefully, your VA will swim when given a difficult task. Push her to take on projects that she hasn’t before. This will not only help her grow but keep her challenged in her role.
Make Room for Growth
If you want your VA to stay with you for a long time you must make room for growth in her role. Challenge her to take on more responsibility and speak to her about where you see her in the future.
That’s all the tips for teaming up and getting more from your Virtual Assistant. If you are yet to hire your first one, there are reasons to hire a VA:
- They are often highly skilled individuals who left the corporate world for work-life balance
- You can pay them per hour or per project
- There are no company costs involved
- They can work during off-peak hours and high seasonal periods
- They often give their all because they’re responsible for their own income
Ready to hire a VA? Give us a call!
My Journey as a Virtual Assistant by Michelle Wilbraham
I recently joined the team at VA Connect as a Virtual Assistant and in the short time I have been with them, I have really enjoyed the experience thus far.
I started my career as a Medical Secretary and gained 10 years of experience and knowledge in the government sector. After the birth of my son, I resigned as we decided that the early stages of a child’s development are crucial and I was privileged to stay at home with him for 4 years until he started day-care.
After this I returned to work and had been working as a personal assistant/office manageress for the past 17 years, basically ending up running the office for the company that I was last with.
I was working in a half day job which suited me at the time as I had a school going son. They decided to make the position full day so I had no other alternative but to resign, so that I could be there for him. He has since left home and I now found myself having so much more time on my hands and suffering a bad case of empty nest syndrome.
I was searching for something that I could do from home and by chance came across Tammy Nortier on a facebook page and she mentioned VA Connect to me.
I have been working for VA Connect for a week now and am absolutely loving it. I have gained so much valuable knowledge and skills during this short time and been exposed to many new software packages and applications.
Working as a VA gives me exposure to new clients and and I am currently working for a USA based company which despite the time difference is easily manageable and a great opportunity.
I love working from home and don’t miss the daily commute to work like everyone else.
I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with both the client and VA Connect.
My Journey with VA Connect by Melissa Nicholson
“Some people don’t change only a direction in our life; they change everything in our life.” – Christelle Salameh
I started my Virtual Assistant journey in 2014, a journey that is very scary and extremely difficult at times to take on your own. A VA entrepreneurial journey is simply not possible alone without the help of mentors and people who have been there and done that previously. Having an idea on your own is great, but a mentor can identify and see areas in you where improvements are necessary for your own personal growth.
In January 2017 I partnered with VA Connect, not knowing how this partnership would change me as a person and also affect my entrepreneurial path. Working alongside the co-founders and serial entrepreneurs, Karen Wessels and Albert van Zyl has changed and impacted my journey profoundly. Not only have I learnt and watched how they nurture and take care of their clients, but how they have made it their life’s journey to not only positively impact everyone they come into contact with, but how they strive to motivate and uplift every single person around them.
We live in a world where people are put down and broken down according to their net worth, education or their abilities and it is very seldom that you come into contact with people who stop and listen to what you have to say and diligently seek to reach down deep and pull out from the core of your being what your strengths are and encourage you on a daily basis to be all that you were meant to be, weaknesses and all!!! That is who Karen and Albert are, and the basis on what VA Connect is built on, uplifting, entrepreneurship, assisting clients to the absolute best of our ability and harnessing a person’s skills until you become the absolute best you can be.
I distinctly will never forget a VA Connect team meeting we recently had in August, Women’s month, where the sole focus of the meeting was to get every single one of us out of our comfort zones and reflect on who we are as people and how to do everything we can to be the best we can be. There is nothing more uplifting in this world than hearing that as a person, you are valuable, you matter and that you can be anything you desire to be. It’s just not something that happens often enough.
I have seen and learnt so much in the last 7 months, that I as a person no longer question my abilities and what I am capable of. I am much more confident in my work on a daily basis and absolutely believe that I can be everything that I was created to be. Thanks to VA Connect, the word “can’t” no longer exists in my vocabulary.
I believe in life certain people cross your path for a reason and I am truly thankful that mine has crossed Albert and Karen’s otherwise I would not be where I am this day. I encourage every Virtual Assistant to identify mentors like this in your VA career path who will help you to do the same.
Things that have helped me make my life easier and more productive as a Virtual Assistant by Melinda Pennells
In my previous blog I discussed my journey as a Virtual Assistant. This month I want to discuss how to make your life easier and how to be more productive when working from home. As I said previously it was really daunting at first, I knew that I would have to “sort my life out” in order to be able to handle whatever was thrown my way and in turn make it a success.
I thought long and hard about what I could do, I am already by nature very “OCD”, I thrive on structure and being organised. When I feel organised I know things will get done, that is why I knew I had to bring my “OCD” into my Virtual Assistant position.
Here are some things that helped me and hopefully could help you too:
My work day rules
We have the luxury of sleeping in a little when all our friends are stuck in traffic but make sure you start work the same time every day. It is also important to set your hours of work same as if you had a desk job, if you would leave the office at 5pm then do the same when working from home.
Set up your office space so that everything you need is at hand, and make it beautiful, it really does help if your surroundings make you happy.
Take breaks, take the dogs for a quick walk, sit outside in the sun for 5 minutes. It is so unhealthy to work straight through the day, no matter who you are or what you do.
Organise, Organise, Organise!!
In this environment, it is so important to be organised and know what you want to do during your work day, it’s way too easy to get ahead of yourself and have everything crumble around you. Make lists if necessary, nothing fancy just jot it down on a piece of paper (preferably in a note book as little pieces of paper always go missing) and try your best to stick to it. Obviously, you will have days that “don’t go your way” but there is always tomorrow. And by having your list it won’t fall through the cracks because chances are you’ll forget to do it.
Communication is Key
When you are sitting alone at home working it is so easy to go into your own little bubble. So, it is vital to communicate and to do so often. If you don’t understand something that you have to do, ask the necessary questions. Some might think it’s best to keep quiet but that is definitely not an option when working like this, or in that matter any work environment. If you communicate everyone will be on the same level and you will understand what is expected of you, this makes your life easier and you will naturally be more productive. An added bonus is your work will be immaculate and your clients will love the work you are giving them.
The most important thing when working from home is making everything around you benefit you and make you happy and comfortable. If you are happy and organised you will automatically be more productive and life will be easier.
These things have really helped me on my Virtual Assistant journey and I really hope they will help you too.